16 3D Animation Terms Explained

  • 13 July, 2021

Familiarizing yourself with key terms and ideas in animation can help you understand the elements and processes used to bring 2D designs to life. In this blog, we present a list along with short descriptions of some terminology used in 3D animation to give you a general grasp of its basic concepts.

  • 12 principles of animation - Core concepts of animation as introduced by Disney's Nine Old Men, including such methods as squash and stretch, which is the basis for character motion and replicate movement characteristics observed in real life
  • 3D modeling - The process animators use to develop a representation of any surface in 3D, often requiring specialized computer software
  • Blender - A free, open-source 3D animation software supporting "the entirety of the 3D pipeline"1
  • Constraints - The restrictions applied to rigging points to limit certain movements
  • Demo reel - A short video featuring clips of an artist's best animation samples along with a concise description of which design elements occur in each clip
  • Dynamics - The process of using rules of physics to simulate realistic motion in animation
  • Eevee - A software developed by Blender to render frames in real time
  • Illustrator - A vector-based software for creating and editing graphics and digital art
  • Kinematics - The process of using solid sections (bones) connected by moveable joints to represent motion in 3D

16 3D Animation Terms Explained

  • Lighting - The process of placing light sources strategically in a scene
  • Photoshop - A pixel-based software for creating and editing graphics and digital art
  • Portfolio - A collection of your work featuring a wide variety and reflecting on the versatility and range of projects you have completed
  • Rendering - The process of using computer software to combine such elements as texturing and rigging to create the final appearance of a 3D model
  • Rigging - The process of generating the underlying bone structure of a 3D model, allowing for motion along these predetermined points
  • Shading - The process of depicting depth by altering the color of a 3D model
  • Texturing - The process of applying colored designs to 3D models

An understanding of these core concepts is essential in pursuing 3D animation as either a hobby or a professional career. Curious in learning more? EduMind's comprehensive 3D Animation course will cover these concepts in depth and provide the opportunity to learn and experience them with hands-on training. Go to www.EduMind.com to learn more about this fun and exciting opportunity!


1 Foundation, Blender. "About." blender.org. Accessed April 27, 2021. https://www.blender.org/about/.
About the Author: Martha Hunsucker

Martha Hunsucker is a content writer for EduMind. She received her BA in English from Stetson University and has experience marketing, copywriting, editing, and blogging. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books by Jon Krakauer (her current favorite author), hiking with her two dogs, and sleeping in on weekends.

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